Covid-positive Iranian diplomacy chief at key nuclear negotiation moment

The Iranian Foreign Minister contracted COVID-19, local media announced, at a time when his country said it was willing to return to international negotiations on its controversial nuclear program.

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, 57, “tested positive for coronavirus today,” the Tasnim news agency said late Monday through Tuesday.

This career diplomat was appointed foreign minister in August by ultra-conservative President Ebrahim Raisi.

“The general condition (of the minister) is satisfactory and he continues with his daily work in quarantine”, announced the spokesman of the ministry Said Khatibzadeh, quoted by the official Irna agency.

This announcement comes after Khatibzadeh announced on Monday that talks on the Iranian nuclear program would begin “in the next two or three weeks.”

Iran had closed in 2015 a historic agreement with five powers (China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany), which allowed the relaxation of international sanctions against Tehran in exchange for drastically limiting its nuclear program, as well as providing guarantees that he was not looking to get hold of the atomic bomb.

But the United States withdrew from the pact unilaterally in 2018 and reinstated sanctions against Iran, which, in response, was disregarding its commitments.

Since June of this year, negotiations to relaunch the agreement have been deadlocked, although now Iran has said it is willing to relaunch them.


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